What is your bedtime routine? Do you usually spend an hour surfing the net using your smartphone before going to bed? Can you break your bedtime routine without feeling uneasy? It appears that your bedtime habits can reveal whether you have the kind of anxiety known as “high functioning”.
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Anxiety can manifest itself in a number of ways. While some symptoms are obvious and do not call for tricky interpretations, there are habits that are likely to point to your hidden problems. Here is a list of bedtime habits that could be caused by the type anxiety, which has recently gained close attention and is known under the name of “high functioning anxiety”.
#1. Failing to be able to break your routine
Actually, having a bedtime routine is thought to be able to improve your quality of sleep, as your body realizes you are doing something familiar to prepare it for rest, which triggers its own rest-promoting processes. However, such routines are beneficial only if they are not obsessive. The routine you cannot break is a sign of your anxiety: being unable not to apply your favorite cream before going to bed or not having your usual blanket on the sofa means something could be wrong with your nervous system.
#2. Being dependent on technologies and devices
If you HAVE to read on your smartphone to make yourself go to sleep, it is definitely a warning that you should do something about your anxiety before it comes to a head. In cases when the power goes out, do you find it hard to fall asleep in the complete quietness and darkness of your unusually tech-lacking room? With no phone to read on or TV to watch (or even a fridge to murmur), it can be a challenge to fall asleep for almost any person living in the modern world permeated with all things electrical. It’s not that we are scared, but the feeling is not pleasant.
We forgot how to listen to the silence, and having no devices and appliances to accompany you, you may feel uneasy and fail to fall asleep normally. It’s another reason to treat your anxiety, which is definitely present if it’s the case.
#3. Obsessive cat- and alarm-checking
It’s bedtime, and you have made sure that your cat is safe in its bed, ready to hit the sack too. You get under your blanket and check your alarm. Everything is fine. A couple of minutes later, you get nervous and decide to check again. And again.
If such a spiral strikes, there is anxiety behind this behavior. If every sound or even thought makes you want to check if everything’s fine all over again, consult a professional, as this could result in something worse than anxiety.
#4. Focusing on embarrassing moments and thus failing to sleep
If you keep on rehashing the moments of this day when you could have said something better or even dropped a brick, it is, well, as you have already guessed, a symptom of anxiety. Researchers from the University of Illinois recommend that you remember something positive that occurred on the same day and focus on it instead. Anxiety prevents you from falling asleep and causes you to revolve such embarrassing situations over and over. If you do not stop it, it could turn into a fear, which will be more difficult to treat.
#5. Putting off bedtime
If you do your best to find an excuse to do something else instead of going to bed on time, it means you are afraid of it. To counter the fear, think about what might be causing it. Is it your panic attacks that occur in the middle of the night? Or some other experience that lead you to associate bedtime with something scary or unpleasant? If you cannot find an explanation to it, consult a professional.
Anxiety can, and is likely to, damage your health in a number of ways. If you have any of the bedtime habits listed above, consult your GP or psychotherapist – there is nothing to be ashamed of. You could be advised to take medications, relax, pray or do something else to reduce your anxiety, which by no means should be ignored.
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